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Hi, we've just bought a house that has a very old MVHR installed which needs the main unit replacing and the ducts cleaned and balanced. We are not planning on having an airtight house and will keep windows open during warmer months. We cannot decide if the benefits of running an MVHR in a non-airtight house warrant the cost to upgrade/service. We cannot find anyone in the local area (North East) that can assess our installation and make recommendations so would be grateful for your opinions. The installation is very old, the main unit is branded "Flow Engineering" and I've attached some photos. I can hear the fans are working but I cannot feel any air movement through the vents. There is galvanised metal ducting to every room and it extracts from kitchen, utility and bathrooms. The unit is mounted in the loft and there is no loft insulation at all. Is it worth upgrading and servicing the MVHR system or would it make more sense to install an MEV with the existing extraction ducting and remove the rest of the ducting in favour of loft insulation?
Hi all Would love to get your views on this. We're upgrading our early 1970s detached house, with (as a minimum) cavity wall insulation, insulating under the suspended floor, upping the loft insulation and replacing doors and windows with triple glazing (Rationel / IdealCombi / Norrsken TBC). We may also insulate walls externally (subject to cost / budget). We're also building a kitchen extension which will be heavily insulated and airtight. We're now looking in to installing either a MEV or MVHR system. We've got supply only quotes from BPC of £2150 for MVHR and £575 for MEV, with extract from 3 bathrooms (upstairs, downstairs and en-suite) and the kitchen. We've got a young family and both work pretty much full time, so we're only really in the house at weekends and evenings. In summer / warm spring days the doors into the garden will be open, so lots of air will be drawn into the house. I know there's the thinking that MEV is throwing away money, extracting warmed air, but surely it would take a long a time for this to add up to the £1500 difference in supply cost, plus probably that again in installation cost. Heating is standard central heating from a combi boiler. My current thinking is that MEV would give the benefits of quiet extraction of moisture and odours from the bathrooms and kitchens and avoid the need for wall extractor fans, and its hard to justify the additional benefits of MVHR given our use of the house. It would be really good to hear from anyone who has a MEV system installed, or who upgraded from MEV to MVHR. Thanks!
Hello all. My six year old house was fitted with MEV by the developer but I’m planning to ‘upgrade’ to full MVHR. Although much MHVR goes on new build, plus some retrofit during refurbishment of older properties, I haven’t seen anything online about anyone upgrading existing MEV in this way. As background, my parents longed to do a self build, with MVHR oddly enough being one of the things mentioned a lot beforehand. It was installed in 2010/11, so I am familiar with such a system in practice. On buying my house new, the showhouses did have MVHR, but unfortunately all the others only have MEV. My original thinking was that I already have one half the of system in place, though perhaps I already get half the benefits. So while we get fresh air, humidity at reasonable levels and minimal condensation in the bathrooms, it galls me that trickle vents were cut into the frames of the triple glazed windows for supply and while I have two fans spinning 24/7, the heated warm air is just being pumped out. The extraction is not optimal – kitchen cooking smells permeate the whole house with the door closed, whether on boost or not. For some reason, only now are we getting some black mould in the en-suite bathroom. I have read up plenty since and so – as things stand – currently plan to go ahead. I’m also going ahead with an extension – highly glazed – and will need the SAP calc, so this is one of the few possible improvements I can make to the existing house if needed. (Loft insulation, firstly to building regs, though even better to the design spec, would be cheaper and easier so happening as well). The airtightness test result when new was 4.4 m3 /m2 hr @ 50Pa. Fairly average for recent new builds but certainly not spectacular. It’s below the figure where it should give some benefit, but above a level I expect some might think it’s not worth it. The extension will be built to a better standard, while there are some gaping holes in the existing house I am aware of and have filled or will do. Plus sealing up the trickle vents. Though at this sort of airtightness, I can’t justify a top end system professionally installed, it just will not pay back. Though I have acquired a good value unit and plan to do much work myself to limit expense. I don’t think I’ll necessarily use all that is currently in place. Rigid ducting was used for the extract and is not especially well sealed at joins where visible. The ceiling extract ducts were generally placed near the doorway, not at the opposite corner. The two existing roof extract terminals (there are two separate MEV units) are on the southern elevation but have insufficient free area to repurpose one as a supply and leave the other as extract. The manual boost switches might be the few parts I reuse. There is power to one of the MEVs that would also be the loft location – admittedly unheated – for the MVHR unit. I do have useful behind-shower voids at the front and back to enable semi rigid supply to all the ground floor rooms that need it, and back from the extract rooms. The doors already have sufficient gaps underneath. The reason for posting here is to ask a few queries on what I’m still unsure of. And if it does go ahead, perhaps be one of the few resources to document an MEV to MVHR upgrade. Savings are difficult to quantify at present. I would appreciate some hints on the following: Which of these positions, or something else entirely, would you put the external supply and extract terminals? A (Red): North roof through roof terminals, B (Gold): North roof soffits (might be easiest to install but need to watch the free area), C (blue): East gable end above the slightly lower roof. Overall I am trying to avoid the SW prevailing wind, be on the same elevation, far enough apart and be shaded in summer. I have seen a number of posts of DIY commissioning and producing the certificate for building control. As an alternative, there are a number of firms that can do testing, but is there a competent persons scheme for any of these testers? Reason I ask is that on speaking to building control they said it would be usual for installers to self certify as would be done for gas / electricity, in which case there is no BC fee. Though I have not found a similar scheme. If I have to pay the building control fee anyway, then I would probably test myself. Is this really worth going ahead with, or pulling the plug now? I am hopeful of getting this completed for under £2k all in for the parts, my labour counted as zero. One possible supplier for the large glazed doors for the extension wanted over £900 to add trickle ventilation. I’m not going with that firm, but whoever I use I avoid the need for those vents. Overall, I would hope to minimise the ventilation losses but have difficulty quantifying the payback. Non-financially, I would see benefits from input filtration (due to hay fever) and soundproofing from sealing the old vents. Sorry for the long post, and thanks in advance for any suggestions.
Hi. I am a home ventilation specialist and work for BPC ventilation that are leading designers and suppliers of home ventilation and heat recovery systems to builders and self builders throughout The UK, Ireland and most other worldwide locations I will try to answer any questions and explain the facts from the myths Gary